nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒04‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Performance Pay and Applicant Screening By Jirjahn, Uwe; Mohrenweiser, Jens
  2. The Productivity Advantage of Serial Entrepreneurs By Kathryn L. Shaw; Anders Sørensen
  3. Are Generalists Beneficial to Corporate Shareholders? Evidence from Sudden Deaths By André Betzer; Maximilian Ibel; Hye Seung (Grace) Lee; Peter Limbach; Jesus M. Salas
  4. Constructing equality? : Women’s wages for physical labor, 1550-1759 By Gary, Kathryn
  5. What Drives Differences in Management? By Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron S. Jarmin; Megha Patnaik; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
  6. Are Competitors Forward Looking in Strategic Interactions? Evidence from the Field By Mario Lackner; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer; Uwe Sunde; Rudi Stracke
  7. Female leaders and gender gaps within the firm: Evidence from three sub-Saharan African countries By Giulia La Mattina; Gabriel Picone; Alban Ahoure; Jose Carlos Kimou
  8. Career Concerns with Exponential Learning By Bonatti, Alessandro; Hörner, Johannes
  9. Gender Differences in Competitive Positions: Experimental Evidence on Job Promotion By Emmanuel Peterle; Holger Rau
  10. Gender Quotas in the Board Room and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Credible Threat in Sweden By Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn; Jansson, Joakim
  11. The Value of Flexible Work: Evidence from Uber Drivers By M. Keith Chen; Judith A. Chevalier; Peter E. Rossi; Emily Oehlsen

  1. By: Jirjahn, Uwe; Mohrenweiser, Jens
    Abstract: Using German establishment data, we show that the relationship between intensity of performance pay and intensity of applicant screening depends on the nature of production. In establishments with increased multitasking, performance pay is positively associated with applicant screening. By contrast, in establishments without increased multitasking, performance pay is negatively associated with applicant screening. The findings fit the hypothesis that performance pay induces a positive self-sorting of employees if jobs are less multifaceted. In this case, employers with a high intensity of performance pay do not need intensive applicant screening to ensure a high quality of matches between workers and jobs. However, if jobs are more multifaceted, performance pay can entail problems of adverse self-sorting. In order to mitigate or overcome these problems, employers making intensive use of performance pay also screen applicants more intensively.
    Keywords: Performance pay,multitasking,self-sorting,applicant screening,non-managerial employees,managerial employees
    JEL: J33 J60 M51 M52
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Kathryn L. Shaw; Anders Sørensen
    Abstract: Serial entrepreneurs, who open more than one business, are found to have higher sales and higher productivity than novice entrepreneurs, who open one business. Using panel data on entrepreneurs and their firms from Denmark for 2001-2013, the serial entrepreneur has 67% higher sales than the novice, but also opens firms that are larger in terms of the initial capital and labor, and thus is 39% more productive. There are subsets of firms that perform especially well – serial entrepreneurs that hold a portfolio of overlapping ongoing firms perform the best, as do those that open as limited liability firm rather than proprietorships. Female serial entrepreneurs do as well as male serial entrepreneurs relative to the performance of novices of their own genders. The second firms of the serial entrepreneurs also stay in business longer than the first (and only) firms of the novices.
    JEL: G24 J24 L26 M13
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: André Betzer (BUW - Schumpeter School of Business and Economics); Maximilian Ibel (BUW - Schumpeter School of Business and Economics); Hye Seung (Grace) Lee (Fordham University); Peter Limbach (University of Cologne - Centre for Financial Research (CFR)); Jesus M. Salas (College of Business at Lehigh University)
    Abstract: This study documents a positive, economically meaningful impact of executives’ general managerial skills on shareholder value. Examining 171 sudden executive deaths over thirty years, we find that a one-standarddeviation increase in the general ability index corresponds to at least a 1.5 percentage point decrease in abnormal stock returns to death announcements. Generalists are found to be significantly more valuable for firms with fewer growth prospects where difficult tasks (e.g., restructurings) need to be performed and adaptations to changing business environments become necessary. Our results provide a market-based explanation for the documented generalist hiring premium and the increasing share of generalists.
    Keywords: executive heterogeneity, managerial work experience, firm value
    JEL: G30 G34 J24
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Gary, Kathryn (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper combines new archival data on women’s wages from southern Sweden with published series from Stockholm in order to create a series of early modern female construction workers’ wages between the middle of the sixteenth and middle of the eighteenth centuries. This paper finds that women had relatively high relative wages in the later part of the sixteenth century, with an increasing wage gap into the eighteenth century, and that the changes in women’s relative remuneration are connected to changes in demand factors. This paper challenges assumptions about women’s participation in manual labor, in many cases finding a lack of differentiation between female and male unskilled workers as well as and unskilled labor force comprised of from forty to sixty percent women and high work intensity for female construction workers.
    Keywords: gender wage gap; wages; women; Scandinavia; Sweden; early modern period
    JEL: N33 N64
    Date: 2017–04–13
  5. By: Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron S. Jarmin; Megha Patnaik; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Partnering with the Census we implement a new survey of “structured” management practices in 32,000 US manufacturing plants. We find an enormous dispersion of management practices across plants, with 40% of this variation across plants within the same firm. This management variation accounts for about a fifth of the spread of productivity, a similar fraction as that accounted for by R&D, and twice as much as explained by IT. We find evidence for four “drivers” of management: competition, business environment, learning spillovers and human capital. Collectively, these drivers account for about a third of the dispersion of structured management practices.
    JEL: L2 M2
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Mario Lackner; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer; Uwe Sunde; Rudi Stracke
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether decision makers are forward looking in dynamic strategic interactions and incorporate variations of continuation values in their choices. Using data from professional and semi-professional basketball tournaments, we find that the expected relative strength of a team in future interactions indeed affects behavior in the present. The results also show that the response to changes in the continuation value is stronger if the structure of prizes is convex across stages, if the players are in a decisive game and if the prevalence of free riding within a team is low.
    Keywords: Promotion tournament; multistage contest; elimination; forward-looking behavior; heterogeneity
    JEL: M51 J33
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Giulia La Mattina; Gabriel Picone; Alban Ahoure; Jose Carlos Kimou
    Abstract: We study the association between the gender of the highest-ranking manager (the CEO) and gender differences in employees’ outcomes using detailed linked employer–employee data from the formal sector in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. Our empirical strategy relies on the inclusion of firm fixed effects and workers’ characteristics. Our results point toward a negative correlation between female CEO and the relative wages and job satisfaction of female employees. However, female employees working under a female CEO who owns the firm are not paid less than their male colleagues.
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Bonatti, Alessandro; Hörner, Johannes
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of market structure on career concerns. Effort increases the probability that a skilled agent achieves a one-time breakthrough. Wages are based on assessed ability and on expected output. For any wage, the agent works too little, too late. Under short-term contracts, effort and wages are single-peaked with seniority, due to the strategic substitutability of effort levels at different times. Both delay and underprovision of effort worsen if effort is observable. Commitment to wages by competing firms mitigates these inefficiencies. In that case, the optimal contract features piecewise constant wages and severance pay.
    Keywords: career concerns, experimentation, career paths, up-or-out, reputation.
    JEL: D82 D83 M52
    Date: 2017–03
  9. By: Emmanuel Peterle (CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques - UFC - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté, UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté); Holger Rau (Universität Göttingen)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes gender differences in access to competitive positions. We implement an experiment where workers can apply for a job promotion by sending a signal to their employer. We control for gender differences in anticipation of discrimination in a treatment where a computer randomly recruits. Discriminatory behavior by the employer is isolated in a treatment where workers cannot send signals. We find that gender disparity among promoted workers is highest when workers can apply for promotion and employers recruit. Strikingly, the gender composition in competitive position is balanced in the absence of a signaling institution. When signaling is possible, we observe that female workers who do not request a promotion are discriminated against.
    Keywords: Real Effort, Discrimination, Gender Differences,Experiment
    Date: 2017–01–01
  10. By: Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Jansson, Joakim (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Board room quotas have recently received an increasing amount of attention. This paper provides novel evidence on firm performance from an exogenous change in female board participation in Sweden. We use the credible threat, aimed at listed firms, of a quota law enacted by the Swedish deputy prime minister as an exogenous variation. The threat caused a substantial and rapid increase in the share of female board members in firms listed on the Stockholm stock exchange. This increase was accompanied by an increase in different measures of firm performance in the same years, which were related to higher sales and lower labor costs.
    Keywords: Gender quotas; Corporate boards; Firm performance
    JEL: G34 G38 J16 J48 J78 M12 M51
    Date: 2017–04–18
  11. By: M. Keith Chen; Judith A. Chevalier; Peter E. Rossi; Emily Oehlsen
    Abstract: Participation in flexible contract work has increased dramatically over the last decade, often in settings where new technologies lower the transaction costs of providing labor flexibly. One prominent example of this is the ride-sharing company Uber, which allows drivers to provide (or not provide) rides anytime they are willing to accept prevailing prices for this service. An Uber-style arrangement offers workers flexibility in both setting a customized work schedule and also adjusting it throughout the day. Using high-frequency data of hourly earnings for Uber drivers, we document the ways in which drivers utilize this real-time flexibility and we estimate the driver surplus generated by this flexibility. We estimate how drivers' reservation wages vary in high frequency from hour to hour, which allows us to study the surplus and supply implications of both flexible and traditional work arrangements. Our results indicate that, while the Uber relationship may have other drawbacks, Uber drivers benefit significantly from real-time flexibility, earning more than twice the surplus they would in less flexible arrangements. If required to supply labor inflexibly at prevailing wages, they would also reduce the hours they supply by more than two-thirds. The implications of our findings for the future of flexible work are discussed.
    JEL: J22 L91
    Date: 2017–03

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